The federal government has defended plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Rügen site. One cannot cope with the terminals on the North Sea coast alone, with imports via Western European ports and via pipelines from Norway, said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) after a round of talks on the subject in Binz on the island of Rügen. Import infrastructure is also needed in eastern Germany. “Because it’s about security of supply for East Germany.”

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), who also attended the meeting, said with a view to security of supply that it was not over yet. Supplying East Germany in particular is dependent on “further alternatives being created”.

On the open question about the exact location, Scholz pleaded during the non-public round of talks for dpa information for the port of Mukran. According to participants, he referred to technical problems with a view to a possible alternative on the open sea. Accordingly, Habeck also focused on Mukran.

The Mayor of Binz, Karsten Schneider, confirmed after the talks: The federal government apparently wants to hold on to the Mukran site. You will continue to take “all means” against a terminal in front of or on Rügen. He evaluated this first conversation with the federal government as a first palpation. “I felt the conversation was very good for that.” There must be more. He wishes that the pace would now be reduced.

The plans have been causing fierce resistance on the island for months. Critics fear for the environment and tourism, which is particularly important for Rügen. The Schwerin state government had also expressed doubts as to whether the terminal was needed at all and had requested a statement of the need. According to the police, up to 600 demonstrators had gathered at the place of the round of talks, to which around 60 representatives of communities, associations and the economy were invited, who loudly expressed their displeasure.

According to earlier information, the federal government also sees advantages for the energy supply in Eastern and Central Europe in a location on the East German coast. The terminal is to be connected to the gas grid via an offshore pipeline in Lubmin in western Pomerania. This is where the non-operating German-Russian pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 land, and several large-capacity pipelines meet for onward distribution. Critics, on the other hand, speak of unnecessary overcapacities that would be created by a terminal on or off the coast of Rügen.